Fantasy worlds, ethereal vocals, and shuddering breakbeats—this is the immersive dance-floor soundscape of London-based producer and singer yunè pinku. Honing her bedroom production skills during the coronavirus pandemic, pinku’s 2022 debut EP Bluff combined garage 2-step with bright rave synths and gossamer vocal melody, winning fans from Charli XCX to crate diggers’ favorite Joy Orbison. Now expanding her soundworld to include collaborations with the likes of Shygirl and Nia Archives producer Jakwob, pinku’s next set, BABYLON IX, is a masterwork in percussively charged, escapist songwriting. “It’s an allusion to Babylon and Cloud Nine—these inaccessible realms that exist in our heads and in stories,” pinku tells Apple Music. “I wanted to produce a sonic world full of contrasts and deep imagination.” From the opening synth ambience of “Trinity” to the ’90s trance bass of “Sports” and the euphoric melodies of “Fai Fighter,” listening to BABYLON IX is certainly an exercise in imagining another world of heat, movement, and communal self-expression. “It’s some of the most honest music I’ve made,” pinku says. Read on for her in-depth thoughts on the EP, track by track. “Trinity” “I made most of this EP in summer 2022, and there was one day when I was shut in a dark studio while the sun was out and nothing seemed to be working for me creatively. I had this nitpicking, negative inner voice going on, so I was playing around with the settings on a keyboard instead, and as I pressed something, this synth sound suddenly took over the whole room. I really liked how it washed over everything, and it gave me the idea for the beginning of this. The song became about how the bad part of my brain, that critical voice, is actually where my creativity comes from.” “Heartbeat” “I was working with the producer Oli Bayston and we were playing around with modular setups and getting a bit more experimental with the music production. ‘Heartbeat’ came pretty seamlessly out of that process of trying new sounds out. It was only after I had finished it I realized what that song was really about and connected with it. This is a track that explores when you are projecting onto other people the things that either you love or don’t like about yourself.” “Sports” “This was made with a producer called Jakwob, who works a lot with Nia Archives. We did a couple of sessions together and fit really well sonically, as we listen to a lot of the same music. We were riffing in the studio and started coming up with the vocal chops that are the basis of this track. I then added lyrics based on these notes I’d had floating around in my phone, all about getting mad at someone for prioritizing the TV or their phone over the reality of life.” “Blush Cut” “I was working with Oli Bayston again and trying out some ideas at his house. His cat wouldn’t stop purring on the mic, so at the beginning of the track you can hear this repeated sound beneath the keys, but it’s actually just his cat purring, which we thought made a cute start! The rest of the song lyrically is about shaking off ideas of religious shame, since I wasn’t aware of the amount of Catholic guilt that had been stuck in my head.” “Night Light” “This is probably the most ‘storytelling’ song on the album. I was interested in the fantasy realms we create for ourselves—both digitally and in our imaginations—and so I wrote ‘Night Light’ as an AI love story between a robot that gets Stockholm syndrome for the person who made it. The catch comes in the fact that the person the robot loves is also the person who can eventually turn it off.” “Fai Fighter” “‘Fai Fighter’ and ‘Trinity’ were both made in the same two days and they were the tracks that kicked everything off for the project. Making the production for ‘Fai Fighter’ was really fun. Normally the way I work is with headphones, but I was in a studio with a great sound system, so I could play the music out loud, and it allowed for this huge, punchy sound. The track is written from the perspective of a character who is the most powerful, confident version of yourself—a fighter.”

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